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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: A system of operating

The headset cometh, if reports are to be believed (would it kill you to clap for the headset?), and Apple has a slew of operating system updates in store with some wild and wacky features.

Headset on a hardware introduction

Have you ordered your Apple headset yet?! Why not?! THEY’RE COMING! HURRY!

“Apple’s Mixed-Reality Headset Now Said to Be in ‘Final Sprint’ and ‘Delivery Stage’ Ahead of WWDC”

To tell the truth, I haven’t ordered mine yet, either, even though people say I have a face for goggles. What I don’t have is a wallet for $3,000. Also, you can’t actually order one yet, as it hasn’t been announced, despite the veritable salivation of the rumor mill.

There’s been a lot of question about this device. What is it? When is it? Why is it? Those kinds of questions. But recently someone claiming to have seen it talked to someone else and our concerns may be unwarranted.

”Apple Tester Claims to Be ‘Blown Away’ by AR/VR Headset, Says There Was Giant Development Leap”

[Leaker Evan] Blass said that over the course of the last few months, the tester has gone from “lamenting its ‘underwhelming’ capabilities” to being “blown away” by the experience and the hardware.

OK, so they were blown away. But were they blown away in a “take my money” kind of way?

“I was so skeptical; now I’m blown away in a ‘take my money kind of way,'” they said.

Oh! Well, glad I asked.

You might be asking yourself “but is it still going to have an external battery pack?” That, my friend, is an excellent question to which the answer is “boy, is it ever.”

“Apple Headset to Use ‘New Proprietary Charging Connector’ for External Battery”

Do you like MagSafe? Cool, because this is not that. This is more like ScrewSafe, which is not the hot new hookup app all the young people are using these days. As far as I know.

According to Gurman, the round tip must be rotated clockwise to lock it in so that it doesn’t fall out during use…

Again, not a hookup app. I can’t stress that enough.

I know I keep saying that but you keep looking at me and doing that Milhouse thing with your eyebrows.

The battery will power the headset for approximately two hours…

I swear, everything in this article just sounds like an innuendo now. Let’s just move on.

An OS by any other name

Speaking of Apple’s headset, there’s been a lot of consternation over what its operating system will be called. The current contenders are xrOS—is that “ex-arr-oh-ess” or “ten-arr-oh-ess”?—or the longer but equally capitalization-challenged sobriquet of realityOS.

What’s in a name, you may ask? Well! There’s, uh, there’s the letters…

Yeah, I don’t get the fuss, either. Look, they already lowercased “mac” on us; I think we’ll get through either of these options (although “realityOS” seems a little more Apple-y to me).

If you think Apple’s pantheon of operating systems is getting too full, well, hold on to your software update dance card.

“Apple Working on ‘Special Version’ of iPadOS 17 for Larger iPads, Starting With 14.1-inch Model Set to Launch in 2024”

You got your macOS. You got your iOS. You got your iPadOS. Now you’re gonna have your bigiPadOS. You’ll be GLaDOS that Apple has taken care of all of your devices in such a bespoke manner.

Look, as long as Apple doesn’t start naming these anything like “Large Tablet Operating System for Workgroups, Enterprise Edition”, they can call it whatever they want.


As we’re talking about operating systems, the Apple rumor mill surfaced more purported iOS 17 features this week.

“Report: iOS 17 bringing new Lock Screen features, Apple Music UI updates, more”

For instance, you will supposedly be able to view Apple Music lyrics from the lock screen. Now you have no excuse for not sharing your dulcet rendition of Lizzo’s “Juice” anywhere, anytime.

If you like them apples, Matt Damon, how about these apples?

“iOS 17 to Include Mood Tracker and Health App for iPad, AI-Based Health Coaching Service Coming in 2024”

Codenamed Quartz, the AI-based service will help encourage users to exercise, improve their eating habits, and take steps to improve their sleep.

Hmm, well, let’s just say that, given some of the results I’ve seen from AIs to date, I’m not sure if I want to take too many of one’s health recommendations, honestly.

“You could probably do a salmon ladder, right?”

[five seconds later]

“I’m sorry, I’m not sure why I suggested you could do a salmon ladder. I have called 911 for you.”

And on top of that, a mood tracker! I predict my mood will be “bitter and disillusioned.”

While these very 2023 features will surely surprise and delight iOS 17 users, there may be a sleeper hit lurking inside.

…Apple wants to expand the social networking capabilities of ‌Find My‌.

Please, I know it’s tempting, but I must insist you make your Ping jokes inside your heart.

[John Moltz is a Six Colors contributor. You can find him on Mastodon at and he sells items with references you might get on Cotton Bureau.]

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